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Keep one or sell both?

I have two cars. I need help deciding which one to sell and which to fix up. Or if I should sell both and buy a newer old car. The only money I have will be from the sale of one or both cars.

The first is a 1993 Subaru wagon, 5 speed, with 250,000 miles. I’ve had it about 4years. It seems to have a good engine and transmission. I had the clutch replaced and brakes repaired last year. The problems with it include a frozen air compressor so that the air conditioner doesn’t work. Also, the electric lock on the passenger door behind the driver seat is not working. The only way to open that door from the outside is to wind down the window then reach in and press on the lock button really really hard WHILE pulling on the handle on the outside of the door (I really don’t care about it.). Another small problem is that the driver’s sun visor is loose so that after I pull it down a couple of times it falls off and I have to force it back onto the little arm that sticks out of the ceiling. Another problem is that when it rains it leaks right onto my head. I think I can fix that pretty easily with silicon gel, or something. And I think the shocks are shot on it. For some reason the insurance rate for this car decreased when I renewed last January. I get about 25 miles to the gallon.

The other car is my Air Force daughter’s 1998 Volvo wagon with about 150,000 miles on it, which she was not allowed to take with her to Okinawa. She gave it to me to do with what I will because I was having repairs done on it for her but it got to be too costly. The mechanic said it needs new rack and pinion (my son-on-law says he replaced that two years ago), and the check engine light won’t go off, even though he’s worked on it a couple of times. The problems it has are: something snapped inside the driver’s door so that the it can ONLY be opened from the outside: when I park I have to roll down the window and open the door before I turn off the motor; the radio speakers work only on one side of the car; it only gets about 17 miles to the gallon. And I spoke with my insurance agent who told me that the insurance rate for the Volvo is less than for the Subaru, which is probably because Volvo owners are safer drivers.

I don’t know which one to sell and use the money to fix up the other because I currently am working two part time jobs at minimum wage, barely able to stay on top of my bills. So my thinking is that I should sell the Volvo and fix the Subaru because I may be able to get more for the Volvo, and because the Subaru gets better mileage and because repair costs on the Volvo will be higher. However, I am not certain if the Subaru is really going to last because it is so old.

Can you help me decide what to do?

Thanks so much.


Of the two, sell the Volvo and keep the Subaru. The Volvo will require more expensive repairs more often than the Subaru. I won’t sell both cars because you have a good history with the Subaru. If you sell both and buy something else then you’ll have a lot of unknowns as you’ll be buying a used car.

Sell the Volvo, keep the Subaru.

I agree with Uncle T. Just try and keep the Volvo money in a Subaru fund, and don’t spend it on other stuff if you can avoid it.

I agree that selling the Volvo is the best move, but you still have to keep in mind that your Subaru already has 250K miles on it. No matter what you do it won’t last forever.

You need to start planning to replace the Subaru. It may last another year or two, but considering its age and mileage anything can go at any time.

To be honest, I’d be reluctant to pour much money into a sixteen year old car with a quarter million miles on it.

Without knowing how much money you can generate, I’d say sell them both and buy a car no one really likes, like Grandpa’s 15 year old Buick. Yes, it will get lousy gas mileage, but it will be cheap to insure and maintain for a while. How much do you drive?

“…Grandpa’s 15 year old Buick. Yes, it will get lousy gas mileage…”

So, 30 MPG on the highway is lousy?

Well, thank you all. You have given me some good suggestions. I like the idea of selling the Volvo and using some of that money for upkeep on the Subaru and saving up for something newer.
Most of my driving is on the highway to and from work, anything else I ride my bike or take public transportation, so I hope I could get at least another year out of the Subaru.
Now I have to learn how to sell a car.
Thank you all again.